Friday, 11 May 2012

How do I find the time to...

How exciting, I got tagged in a ‘meme’ for the first time – thanks Jen. So of course I HAVE to join in – but oh! the irony of being invited to write about how I find the time to do a number of things, when I am struggling to find the time to do anything... so it’s taken a few days, but here goes.

First (very important)

Here are the rules:
1. Please post the rules
2. When answering the questions, give as much information as possible. It’s all about the finer details people!!
3. Leave a comment on Sex, drugs, rocker…and stroller,baby. ( This is so we can keep track of the Meme and take a polite nose into everyone else’s lives.
4. Tag 3 or more people and link to them on your blog.

Second... the main event: How and when do you find the time to….

Do the laundry. Sometimes, I could weep at the seemingly bottomless pit that is the laundry basket. And I don’t think we’re that heavy on clothes. I’m not that fussy about the kids looking a little grubby and they get to re-wear, as do the Husband and I, but still, the basket fills and the washing needs to be done. This happens as and when – particularly when the basket is spewing out dirty socks all over the bathroom floor. I usually try and get a load on  first thing so that it’s done by the time I get back from the school run (or the school dawdle as it should be more accurately called), having walked the dog. Then I can hang it out while my morning pot of coffee brews – either on the line in the manner of carefree 50’s mum, to watch the sheets flap joyously in the breeze, or (more likely, given recent weather conditions) in the manner of a Chinese laundry. After 3 days camping this weekend, when we experienced most forms of weather, I am feeling particularly weary when I look at the laundry...

Write a blog post: I would happily cook and write about it all day, but it just doesn’t happen – small matters like kids, work and all the other stuff on this list conspire against me. But it’s there in my head all the time, and I have a compulsion to get it all out into the ether, so I just fit it in. Often, I’ll be thinking about what I’m going to write beforehand so when I get blog time, it’s already half-formed in my head. When the kids are watching TV after school is often a good time, or later on in the evening, providing there isn’t bulk ironing to be done (see below).

Look after yourself What? Am I supposed to look after myself too? Other than the basics, I’m not very good at this in a personal grooming type of way. I take time for myself where I can, although mostly this is taken up with walking/training charging round the countryside chasing the dog.

Spend time with your other half? Well, we’re going out for a curry tonight, and we had a weekend in Venice at the end of March. Does that count? We do try and have a weekend away together once a year. This year, as well as Venice, we are going to have a night away when we go to see Coldplay in a couple of weeks’ time, and also for a wedding in Wales. We do spend other time together – just doing lots of stuff. Not that long ago we had a beautiful, romantic evening constructing Pink’s new ikea bed. Romance is not dead here, oh no! 

Do fun stuff with your LO: I’m assuming from the other posts in this meme that LO means Little Ones. My ‘LO’ aren’t so little, and if I’m honest, I’m not great at this – they are at an age where they have lots of things going on after school. Often at the weekends, we have jobs to do, because the husband and I both work, so they tend to have to tag along with us while we do our stuff. We try to involve them, though, and who’s to say that gardening, diy, dog walking etc isn’t ‘fun stuff’ anyway. If it’s wet or we’re tired (or, sshh - hungover – it happens occasionally) we’ll have a movie afternoon together, with DVDs and popcorn. It’s easier in the summer because we camp a lot, so, released from the constraints of the ‘jobs to be done’ at home, we can run free on the beach, fly kites, eat chips, play games, read stories and generally muck about.

Spend time with your family This just kind of happens, and I’m ashamed to say that as far as my parents are concerned, it frequently coincides with an overnight babysitting requirement. We’re a 4 hr drive from them, and my brothers are in Tanzania and London so we tend to see each other more on skype than in real life. My mum visits quite a bit which is great because it can be a job and a half to get all of us up the M1, but I feel bad that she does most of the travelling. A couple of weekends ago, I made the trip North because Tanzania brother was back visiting with his family. My London brother and his wife come to visit us more than we go to visit them – I like to think it’s because they can find some rest from the busy corporate lives they lead in the big city, but actually I think it’s because they are worried that we’d destroy their flat. 

Socialise with friends: very important, this. I have friends in the village where we live and friends from school and university who are further afield. I work 6 hours a day, so I see local friends on the school run or in the pub – there’s quite a lot going on where we live and no shortage of events to attend. Friends who are further afield – now that we all have kids and it’s all a bit more manageable, I have started to be able to take the odd weekend away with my school friends, so we had a trip to New York a couple of years ago, and earlier this year we spent a day at The Sanctuary in London. We also meet up as a big group with the kids, camping. 

Prepare an evening meal juggling a baby/toddler bedtime routine? The kids are old enough so that this is no longer an issue – thank heavens. It used to drive me bananas, but now I pretty much always just cook one meal in the evening, and serve it between 6 and 6.30. Usually the Husband is home by then so we can all eat together, or at the very least he gets home while it’s still warm-ish. In fact, I’m starting to overcome my horror of cooking with the kids and they are starting to be quite helpful in the kitchen now and we can do this as a fun thing (see above), Blue can with supervision, make a passable pizza dough, and Pink can chop.

Deep clean your house. I don’t. And I pay someone to clean my house once a week. There. My dirty (or rather, my not so dirty) secret is out. But I loathe and detest housework with a passion and when I started working again, the Husband and I agreed that it would be a lot better in the long run if we actually paid someone to do it.

Do the food shopping: Meal planning and online grocery shopping works for me. I work from home and can go for weeks on end where I don’t have any reason to leave the village (but odn't worry, I haven't grown an extra finger yet), and I certainly don’t want to for something as hideous as the supermarket. We have a local co-op which is good for topping up but it’s quite expensive so I try to be organised and get it done online once a week. Failing that, I send the Husband on his way home from work. With a list that I top up during the day by email. I expect it drives him mental.

can you guess who my favourite is? so obvious...
Do bulk ironing: CSI. NCIS. Silent Witness. Waking the Dead. It’s debateable which came first, my addiction to forensic science based crime drama, or the need to do bulk ironing, but one thing’s for sure - without these programmes, the ironing would not get done. Certainly not by me.

So there we have it – that’s how I find the time. I’d like to know how Single Married Mum, ATO Mum and Samantha Barnes find the time.

A word about Sam – she did all the lovely drawings on my blog. She is sooo clever and really fab – take a moment to check out her blog and her art – you may well find lots to like...


  1. I've started writing it, but I keep getting interrupted by small people! I will find time soon I promise - Ahh, the irony!

  2. I've been a disaster this week, will get on the case today..
    Think we may have the same taste in TV. I love all the ones you've mentioned and am also hooked on Danish crime thrillers which are even more bleak and depressing...! Often wonder if it's the most suitable telly to watch when I'm on my own. My programme preference is one thing OH doesn't miss!

    1. ooo yes - and did you ever catch 'Spirale' a French one on BBC4? Bleak, I tell you!

      Any news on the posting?

  3. Still waiting....they do keep you hanging on. Looking like it will be in UK though, just not the job he wanted which is a shame. Hugely relieved we don't have to move x

  4. I made $20 for completing a 20 minute survey!

    Guess what? This is exactly what big companies are paying me for. They need to know what their average customer needs and wants. So large companies pay millions of dollars per month to the average person. In return, the average person, myself included, participates in surveys and gives them their opinion.


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